'Toxic overcrowding' in A & E

Number 10 has said the performances of Accident and Emergency "has actually exceeded the 95% standards for people admitted or discharged within four hours." But 20 A & E's from the West Midlands say they cannot guarantee safe care for patients.

Health Secretary criticises GP's box-ticking culture

Family doctors are urging the government to 'stop criticising and to start appreciating the work they do for patients in the Midlands.'

It comes on the day the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced a Chief Inspector of GPs is to be appointed.

He also called for better 'out of hours cover' to ease the growing pressure on A & E departments.

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NHS chief: A&E units moving 'closer to the cliff edge'

The pressures on A&E departments are "growing" leaving the service "closer to the cliff edge", the NHS Confederation chief executive has warned.

Pressures on A&E departments are "growing." Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Mike Farrar said: "Like many hard-working frontline staff in the NHS, we have been ringing the alarm bells about urgent care services struggling to meet the demands of patients.

"The recent headlines do not lie – the pressures are growing and we are getting closer and closer to the cliff edge.

"In the last ten years, emergency admissions through A&E have increased by 51 per cent; that's an extra 1.25 million more patients going in to hospital on an unplanned basis.

"If we continue with this trend, we will see another extra half a million patients cramming into our A&E department in the next three years. This will be simply impossible for our hospital services to cope with, despite the heroic efforts of staff to date."

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A&E doctors: Patients at risk due to 'toxic overcrowding'

Senior Accident and Emergency doctors said "toxic overcrowding" and “institutional exhaustion" is putting patients lives at risk, according to a leaked letter seen by the Independent.

Lives are being put at risk because of 'toxic overcrowding', according to A&E doctors. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Archive

The crisis within A&E is now so bad that doctors cannot guarantee safe care for patients, according to the letter from 20 leaders of emergency departments from the West Midlands.

Rising numbers of patients has created a "state of crisis", the doctors said.

They wrote: “What is entirely unacceptable is the delivery of unsafe care, but that is now the prospect we find ourselves facing on too frequent a basis.”